A new livelihood project of World Vision Solomon Islands that aim to establish scalable pathways for an increase consumption of local and nutritious foods and to improve rural incomes has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) recently with the ten communities in Malaita that are partners with the project.
Five of the communities are from Small Malaita Region, two from West Kwarae and three from the Northern Region.
The International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) funded project is called Melanesia Rural Market and Innovation-Driven Development Programme (MERMAID).
This MOU sets forth the terms and understanding between the World Vision Solomon Islands and the communities.
The MOU also outlines the many key activities which the project will be implementing within its three year lifespan. The few of the many activities are agriculture development training, provide training for key agriculture focal points, saving and loan training that would results on creating of savings groups, business training, financial management training including basic book keeping, provide training for key savings and business group focal points, community savings group material nutrition component training.
The project’s goal relates to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 1, 2 and 5 which are to reduce rural poverty, improve nutrition, promote sustainable agriculture, and empower women and youth.
This goal has three components and they are demonstrating responsive service delivery for rural communities, innovations for investing in women and youth and knowledge sharing, policy and advocacy.
Meanwhile, the project is important knowing that Small Island Development States (SIDS) in the Pacific suffer poor nutrition outcomes and pervasive social and economic disparities, and are among the highest ranked countries in terms of vulnerability to climate risks.
In the face of increased access to cheap food imports of low nutritional value, rural communities that rely on agricultural livelihoods now struggle with under-nutrition, over-nutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, and diet-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Limited access to income and employment opportunities on dispersed islands presents a significant economic challenge for many rural people, particularly women and youth.
Speaking during the MOU signing with Buiano Community in West Kwara’ae on Monday this week, World Vision’s Livelihood Sector Portfolio Manager Harry Noel said Buiano is lucky to be chosen as partner in this project.
“Buiano community is so lucky to be included in this project, an opportunity which many communities in the country do not have accessed to, I therefore urge you to work together with the project team to successfully implement it,” Mr Pae said.
Meanwhile, an Elder Thomas Lorman thanked World Vision for choosing Buiano among the ten other communities in Malaita.
“I am happy that Buiano is included in this project, indeed I see this project very important and will be benefiting our community very much,” Mr Lorman said.